The best smartphone of 2018: 15 top mobile phones tested and ranked

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7. Samsung Galaxy Note 8

A brilliant phone for camera and stylus fans alike

Release date: September 2017 | Weight: 195g | Dimensions: 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6mm | OS: Android 7.1.1 | Screen size: 6.3-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2630 | CPU: Exynos 8895 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB/256GB | Battery: 3,300mAh | Rear camera: Dual 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Amazing performance
Impressive camera
Expensive
Weak speaker

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 was the first time the brand's phablet range was seen as a real rival for the Galaxy S phones - the larger screen and more power starting to resonate with the average phone buyer. The S Pen is the real point of differentiation, and it's cool to always have a notepad with you.

Screen:  The Note 8 maximises Samsung’s dual curved edge and nearly bezel-less Infinity Display to the point where this phone feels like a mini tablet from the future. It's more squared off than the Galaxy S phones, but still lovely to look at. 

Camera: The camera on the Note 8 is superb and near the front of the pack for all round quality. On the rear its dual lenses allow for optical zoom as well as digital zoom, as well as live focus which enables you to do all kinds of effects including blurring the background - even after you've taken the shot.

Battery life: The battery in the Note 8 isn't quite best in class - you can thank the large screen and slender design for that. But it'll still last you all day unless you're streaming a lot of video or using it with the brightness pumped up.

Mini verdict: The Note 8 has leapt up the rankings thanks to a mega price drop - it's much, much more palatable. Could that be anything to do with the imminent Note 9? Perhaps, but this is now a pretty stunning buy for the cost.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review